Nov. 15, 2015, use of force Incident at Carries Mountain, California
On Nov. 15, 2015, Border Patrol agents from the Boulevard Border Patrol Station were conducting an operation at Carries Mountain, California, targeting a known alien smuggler wanted on a federal warrant.
That evening, agents observed a group of 20 suspected illegal aliens crossing the international border. An agent and his partner moved to intercept the group. As the agent saw the group approaching, he recognized the individual in front of the group as the subject wanted on the federal warrant.
As the group continued to approach the agents, they all stopped, and the subject crouched down and then stood up. Seconds later, the agent heard a noise next to him. Thinking it came from his partner, he turned toward him. As the agent turned back towards the subject, he was struck on the lower lip by a large rock thrown by the subject.
Knowing that he had been hit, fearing a secondary attack and believing that he could possibly lose consciousness, the agent fired six rounds from his CBP-issued handgun at the subject. After firing, the agent then turned on his weapon-mounted light and saw the subject fleeing up a hill, and attempted to pursue, but was too disoriented due to his injury.
A canine team and Border Patrol search of the area yielded no evidence of any civilian injuries or deaths. At a later date, the suspected smuggler was arrested at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
Result of the NUFRB
On Oct. 25, 2017, the CBP National Use of Force Review Board (NUFRB) convened to review this use of force incident. The board considered whether the discharge of a CBP-issued handgun by the Border Patrol Agent was in compliance with CBP policy. The NUFRB determined that the discharge of a CBP-issued handgun was in compliance with CBP use of force policy.
Consistent with the mandate to review and report on potential improvements to policy and training, the NUFRB made no formal recommendations following their consideration of this incident.